By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots will have to soldier on without one of their corners on Saturday, as Jonathan Jones has officially been ruled out of the team’s head-to-head with the Bills with a groin injury.
Injured in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s win over the Bengals, the loss of Jones is a definitely significant one, as the four-year veteran has played in almost 70 percent of New England’s defensive snaps this season, and has 46 tackles and eight passes defended through 14 games this season. His injury also robs the Bills the (highly, highly improbable) chance of payback on Jones for his concussion-inducing hit on Bills quarterback Josh Allen in the Week 4 head-to-head between the AFC East rivals.
Jones, as you may recall, was not fined or suspended for the hit on Allen, much to chagrin of the entire Bills Mafia.
The Patriots replaced Jones, who also plays a role in their special teams game, with rookie Joejuan Williams for the final five minutes and change of their win over the Bengals, and could do something similar this weekend if the situation calls for it.
But the good news is that it’s expected that the cornerback position as a whole will get a boost with Jason McCourty’s likely return to action after missing last week’s game (and two of the last three games overall) due to a groin ailment.
Officially listed as questionable, McCourty is one of four Patriots with such a tag, joining linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee) and Jamie Collins (shoulder), as well as wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder).
Defensive lineman Danny Shelton, meanwhile, was taken off the injury report on Thursday, and appears ready to go.
The Patriots, who can clinch the AFC East with a victory, have won 16 of the last 18 home meetings against the Bills, with the only two losses coming in games that did not feature Tom Brady at quarterback for the Pats for the full 60 minutes.